More than 140 million Americans make outdoor recreation a priority in their daily lives, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. And of course, one prerequisite for enjoying the great outdoors is access to quality parks, forests and waters — making where you live an important factor in your ability to pursue outdoor activities. Retale recently ranked America's most outdoorsy states on criteria such as number of national and state parks, campgrounds, rock climbing routes and canoe and kayak locations, as well as population density. Here are the five best states for outdoor lovers looking to purchase a new home.
The Golden State enjoys a diverse range of mountains, forests, coastlines and valleys, enabling the state to support nearly all popular outdoor activities. Whether you like biking, hiking, climbing, skiing, camping, hunting, swimming, surfing, canoeing, kayaking or diving, California has it. Along with attractions such as the Redwood National and State Parks, Yosemite Falls, and the Point Reyes beaches, the state boasts the nation's largest number of campgrounds, summer camps, and rock climbing sites, the second most sailing schools, and the fourth most ski resorts.
Not surprisingly, California real estate is hot, with the state hosting eight of the 10 fastest-moving housing markets in the nation last spring, according to Trulia. If you're thinking of buying property in California, the sooner you start looking, the better.
The Empire State's Adirondack Mountains offer one of the southernmost taiga forest areas in America, with over 3,000 parks and lakes, attracting millions of tourists to Adirondack Park annually for hunting, fishing, hiking, rock climbing, snowmobiling, canoeing and kayaking. New Yorkers also love camping in the Catskills and swimming on Long Island's beaches, and the famous shipwrecks of the Thousands Islands feature some of the best freshwater scuba diving in the world. New York has the most national parks in the country and is second for fly fishing waters, third for sailing schools and ski resorts, and fifth for summer camps and kayaking. Real estate in New York City was red-hot in 2015, a trend Collier's expects to continue in 2016, while upstate New York is increasingly attracting high-tech industries and home buyers, MHN reported.
Pennsylvania's name comes from its sylvan forests, covering 59 percent of the state's total land area and carpeting the state's most prominent geographic feature, the Appalachian Mountains. From hiking the Appalachian Trail to kayaking the Susquehanna River to skiing the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Keystone State provides a full range of year-round outdoor activities. Pennsylvania ranks second in the country for national recreation trails, third for fly fishing, and ninth for kayaking.
The Pennsylvania real estate market has been on an upward trend since 2013, following the influx of 70,000 new residents to the state from 2010 to 2013, and some of Pennsylvania's housing markets are considered to be among the most affordable in the nation, according to Housing Predictor.
Vast forests, mountains, and ocean coastline make the Beaver State another top spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Forty-eight percent of Oregon is forested, and residents don't need to go far from Portland to find towering mountains such as Mount Hood. The state ranks second for most state parks and fourth for most recreational hiking trails and campgrounds, providing ample opportunities for hiking, camping, hunting, skiing, snowboarding, and hang gliding, while the state's coastline and interior waters host swimming, canoeing, rafting, and sailing.
These attractive outdoor features, combined with businesses bringing in jobs from out of state, helped make Portland real estate hot in 2015, especially in East Portland.
Twenty-one million of Washington's 43 million acres are forested, earning the Evergreen State its nickname. With 3,000 miles of coastline, the Cascade and Olympic Mountains and the highest number of state parks in the nation, Washington is a haven for hiking, climbing, hunting, fishing, skiing and sailing. The growth of companies such as Amazon, regional wine-growing and the real estate boom in nearby Portland have made real estate hot in Washington's southeast and southwest regions and near the Columbia River. Washington is one of the rainiest states in the nation in fall and winter, so if you sell property there, advise your clients to buy some rainwear jackets and parkas.